Sunday, January 31, 2010

Citrus and Peppercorn Flavored Sea Salt

Recipes for flavored salt are everywhere so I thought I try it myself since I am experimenting with new spices lately. I came across a citrus flavored recipe and since I have both orange and lemon tree that are fruitful, I thought I mind as well make use of them in many different ways. Since this is my blog, I tweaked the recipe a little bit by adding whole peppercorns for a hint of spiciness.

1/2 cup of coarse sea salt
1 whole lemon peel
1 large orange peel
2 tbs of whole black peppercorn

Peel the skin of both the orange and lemon and try not to include the white part. Chop the peel very finely and add the salt and black peppercorn. Mix thoroughly and use it sparingly with pork, lamb or steak prior to grilling or broiling. If you want to store it, make sure to dry it in the oven until the peels have dried out before storing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Baby Scallops and Brussel Sprouts w/ Black Bean Sauce

This is my first time cooking scallops because I'm always afraid that they will be overcooked or under cooked. I found these frozen baby scallops at Ranch 99 store and they were actually giving out samples and promoting them (Costco style). I thought they were tender and quite tasty.

Since I have a variety of asian sauce in jars in my pantry, I decided to try and cook them with black bean sauce. Only vegetables I can cook them with I found in my fridge were the brussel sprouts and white beech mushrooms.


1 bag of frozen baby scallops (or 10.6 oz)
1 lb frozen brussel sprouts (they are half cooked already)
1 pack White Beech mushrooms (or 1/4 lb small button mushrooms)
1 tbs chopped ginger
1 tbs chopped garlic
6 tbs sesame oil
3 tbs black bean sauce
4 tbs hoisin sauce
2 tbs chili sauce (optional)
1 tbs starch
1/4 cup water

Heat large frying pan and add sesame oil. Don't let oil burn, lower the heat to medium to avoid burning. Add ginger and garlic and stir until brown. Immediately add scallops, stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add black bean sauce, hoisin sauce and chili sauce and stir. Cook and cover for 2 minutes then add brussel sprouts and mushrooms. Cover again and let it steam for 5 minutes or until sprouts are tender. Mix the starch and water in a bowl and pour in the pan, stir and cook for another 2 minutes in medium heat. Serve with steamed rice or garlic soba noodles.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Coconut and Curry Tilapia

I was craving for some fish tonight but I wasn't sure how and what to prepare it with. I checked my pantry and saw a few boxes of coconut milk! Then I remember that I just bought a bag of fresh basil and some cherry tomatoes that I was going to use for pasta. A few more ingredients and here is what came out of the oven!


5 pieces of Tilapia filet
2 cups of coconut milk
3 stalks of fresh basil leaves (pluck leaves and discard stems)
1/2 cup of fresh cherry tomato
4 tablespoon of yellow curry
1 fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the fish in a baking dish. Pour the coconut milk all over the fish then sprinkle the curry and salt all over. Add the basil leaves and the cherry tomatoes. Slice the lemon in half and drizzle the juice all over. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Serve with steamed rice and enjoy!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ham Biscuit and Fruit Salad

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Try to serve this healthy breakfast to your kids before they go to school instead of just a bowl of cereal. If you don't have any kids, then try it for yourself.


1 Tube of Pillsbury Butter Tastin Biscuit
1 lb of deli sliced smoked or honey ham
1 banana
1 ripe persimmon
1 glass of milk

Slice the bisquits in half and add the ham in the middle like a sandwich. Bake the bisquits as directed on the package. Serve with slices of banana and persimmon and a glass of milk (for kids) or tea for you!

Asparagus and Cheese Cannelloni

This is another quick and simple pasta dish that you will enjoy. The sauce is made with 4 ingredients but still very delicious.


4 large ripe roma tomatoes diced
2 oz fresh basil leaves (tear off from stems)
6 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon of pepper flakes
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat up a large frying pan with olive oil. Saute garlic until brown, add tomatoes, stir, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes releases its juice and soft. Uncover and add the basil, pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Add the pasta, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and serve warm.

Coconut Lobster Balls

Tired of the standard meatballs? Why not try lobster balls? These are absolutely delicious and they will be a total hit at your party. You can find the lobster balls at most Asian market pre-packed meat/fish section.


2 pre-packed lobster balls (about 3 lbs or 30 pieces unfrozen)
1/2 cup of sesame oil
2 cups of plain bread crumbs
1 pack of dry shredded coconut

Turn the oven to 375 degrees. Place baking sheet  on a flat baking pan. In a big bowl, drizzle the sesame oil all over the balls. Combine the bread crumbs and shredded coconut in a bowl. Dip each ball in the dry ingredient or just dump the bowl of dry ingredients and make sure to cover each lobster ball with it. Arrange the balls on the baking pan at least half an inch away from each other. Bake for 30  minutes or until the coconut is golden brown and not burnt.

Use Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce for dipping. These will make delicious treats at any party.

Lemon Grass Pork Loin with Peach and Honey Sauce

This is one of the dish I served at the Christmas Party. It turned out very delicious and one compliment made me blush!! "MJ, this is the best pork loin I've ever had! It's even way better than my mom's pork loin. Please share me the recipe so I can take it home for Christmas for the family to try."


3 lbs of lean pork loin
4 tablespoons of Lemon Grass Sauce
1/2 tablespoon of salt
1/2 tablespoon of ground black pepper
1 stalk of fresh lemongrass (optional)
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil


1 can of sweetened peaches
1/4 cup of honey

Combine the salt, pepper and lemon grass sauce and brush it all over the pork loin. Chop the fresh stalk of lemon grass and drizzle it all over the meat. Put inside a 1 gallon ziplock and marinate inside the fridge for 1 hour or over night for tastier version.

Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil and sear the pork on all sides. Turn the oven to 375 degrees and bake for 30 - 40 minutes.

In a saucepan over medium heat cook the honey and the peaches (and juice) until they are starting to break down and smush them up a little to break them down. Serve the warm sauce over the meat.

Tri-Color Potatoes

The holidays are over! I've been slacking with my blog. The past 2 months have been quite busy. I cooked and entertained, I partied and I even hurt my back and was on bed rest for a couple of weeks but that didn't stop me from doing other activities.

Here is one of the recipe I've been wanting to post because its an MJ original recipe. I had to cook for a christmas party I planned for my friends and I wanted to serve something they've never had before. While I was at the supermarket, there was a moment that I just stood in front of the different types of potato in front of me. I was just going to make a simple potato dish but I couldnt' decide which potato I should make it with. My creativity started kicking in. Here is the recipe!

Tri-Color Potatoes

3 medium size sweet potato (w/ less curve as possible)
3 medium size purple potato
3 medium size regular russet potato
2 tablespoon italian seasoning
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of garlic salt (or less if preferred)
1 tablespoon of ground black pepper

Turn the oven to 425 degrees. Peel the potatoes and slice into 1/4 of an inch thick (rounds) and set aside in three separate bowl (one for each type of potato).  Combine and whisk all the other ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle each bowl of potatoes with the dressing. Arrange the potatoes by layering a piece of each type on top of each other on a non stick flat baking pan or use a baking sheet to prevent from sticking. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender but not mushy. Enjoy as an appetizer or as a side dish.